In many respects I’m lucky that when I come home
I don’t have to go to work!!! Well not in the sense
of the financial remuneration kind anyway. Usually when
I’m back, my nearest and dearest has a list of ‘jobs’
for me to do and throughout my time at home I get through
them all. But my biggest benefit is that I’m my
own man and can fit the jobs’ in around walking
the dogs and strolling around our land with them.
With this in mind I thought it would be an a idea to take
a look at a typical week with the dogs…………..well
a sort of typical week!!!
As you read through this you might just recognize some
of your own experiences with your own dog(s)………..of
course these are my little anecdotes seen from both sides?
have taught the dogs to stay within our land and although
it is well fenced off we are surrounded by farms and with
the farms come the sheep, lots of them…….equally
we have been careful NOT to allow the dogs to show an
interest in them. In this respect we have been very successful
and so we provide them with plenty of other opportunities
and interests to distract them away from the perimeter
fencing. Like most rural areas we have our fair share
of rabbits, and by implication – foxes. Now the
fox leaves a strong scent wherever he goes and being territorial
they predominantly take the same path – fox runs.
The dogs spend hours in these runs………….
I’m home, most of my work is outside the house,
around the fields and in the woodland. When I’m
out and about so to speak the dogs are always out with
me come rain, hail or shine, they love it. And to be fair
so do I, they are great to have running around me and
in some cases just sitting or lying down near where I’m
without further ado, let’s look at a week with the
usually gets up in the morning before I do – I hide
behind jet lag!!!!! Anyway, I make us a breakfast whilst
she feeds the dogs and by the time we are all fed and
watered they are ready to go out for their morning constitutional.
I get my gear ready and boots on and at this point they
know what’s coming and the excitement mounts………….the
door opens, then there is a sort of canine charge of the
bottoms and raised rear legs then ensue, then the legs
come down and the stoops for the poops begin. And so does
my first job!!! The Banker now takes on the roll of S***
Shoveller. For those of a nervous disposition that could
be construed as the Pooper Scooper……..Anyway,
it amounts to the same thing!!
is all very well of course IF the weather is fine? Let’s
take Mia for example. Now Mia will quite willingly go
out in the fine weather for her constitutional moments.
Enter the dreaded rain!!
the dogs know they’re going out, they wait impatiently
by the back door, Mia always stands at the back of course.
The door opens and the charge begins….except that
is for Mia?? Mia walks arrogantly to the open door and
assesses the weather first!!! If its fine, out she goes,
– “I get to the door and can already smell
that it’s raining, now from the comfort of the couch
to going outside for a Pee and or Poo this is going to
be wet coat and wet feet time”. “It’s
probably windy and cold. Windy and cold, warmth and comfort,
windy and cold, warmth and comfort”. “I’ll
hold it till it stops raining”………..Thinks…..about
turn and goes back in……no way I’m going
out there those other idiots can go instead of me.
then it snowed…….
- again in the frost and snow……”forget
it, I’ll hold it and hold it for as long as is caninely
possible. Now that stuff is damned cold and the affect
on my feet is very unladylike indeed” “it’s
that fluffy white stuff as well, now that is a real pain
in the A***, literally when it melts and freezes!!! A
very difficult situation when I try to stoop and BAM…….good
grief that’s cold” ………….”slowly
now, gently down and…oooooh the relief at long last”.
“It’s alright for them human creatures? They
have a private place for theirs and its warmer, I have
to suffer” “still, it is easier for him to
pick up the Poo after it’s frozen for a while”
play time and out we go to the fenced ménage where
we take the dogs for training and play time. Now we have
the Spinones of course, but we also have a couple of English
Springer Spaniels and a Hungarian Vizsla, the ‘Viz’
and one of the Springer’s are getting on in life
although their enthusiasm has not waned. The young Springer
is a phenomenal retrieve dog and never fails. So to give
the others a chance we leave him to the side at times.
Enter JJ. Our Big Dog Spinone is a gem at retrieving,
including quartering to find the ‘thing’ I’ve
thrown either in the long grass at the side of the ménage
or even in the ménage!! JJ will go all day, unlike
me who’s arm is about to drop off………JJs
instinct to pick up and retrieve knows no bounds……including
the pond!!!! He retrieves from the pond even if I haven’t
thrown anything in it!!! Bloody lunatic!!!!!
pond is another story…….you can see a pond
retrieve picture of JJ in our gallery. Take a look….you’ll
see what I mean.
while the ‘Viz’ is digging his way through
to Australia somewhere (he is nowadays our JCB)!! The
‘Viz’ could dig for England. You think a Rabbit
is good at burrowing, come and see the 4 legged JCB.
Mia comes to join in – however Mia has not quite
got to grips with pick up and retrieve, well, she has
but once she has picked it up, it is of course, hers!!
You can bribe that dog with anything, but there is no
way will she give you the pickup. And when the other dogs
try, she just growls at them. Nothing nasty of course,
but it’s a sort of “Finders keepers”
beach is good fun. We live near vast expanses of beaches
and one in particular is simply superb to take them in
the winter (the closed season) we go there for hours and
they run their little socks off (what)!! (oh bless them)
Max our eldest dog and one of the aforementioned Springer’s,
has, since we’ve had him from a pup, loved the water.
On the beach he goes into the sea and does NOT come out!!
One of us – well me – has to go in and get
him. You can throw stones, sticks, plastic bottles –
whatever, Max will attempt to retrieve it, although 9
times out of 10 the ‘Viz’ beats him to it
(the ‘Viz’ does not dig sand, it’s beneath
the Spinones are charging around all over the place. In
the sea or out, it’s all the same to them.
two Rooks? Now the rook is a clever bird, and on this
day there is a dead fish washed up that is fair game to
the rook…..the dogs love to chase the rooks and
especially the Spins. Except the Spinone is well fed,
2 times a day and the food comes to them. No more marauding
and hunt/kill as they probably did in the old days. Meanwhile
the rook has had to adapt and eat when it can. This makes
the Rook smart…….
the rooks are feasting……..the Spins spot the
birds and give chase. Oh yes…….forgot to mention?
The Rook can fly and a Spinone can’t!! the dogs
close in at high speed, the Rooks look up and see them
and take flight. The spins give chase to the low flying
birds. One Rook peels off and goes back to eat, the other
stays ‘just’ in front of the pursuing pack.
The Rook flies around in large circles and yes you’ve
guessed it…..the Spins are in hot pursuit. The Rook
rises and peels off to go back to join its mate to eat.
One of the Spins sees the decoy and goes after it, the
others quickly follow. Then the Rook that WAS eating takes
to the air and off we go again……..
a packed lunch for the Rooks and let them exercise your
is of course except for the Spinone Pup? New world of
opportunities exist for the puppy who is still learning.
First, the water is water of course, but it’s not
is, that said pup (Savanna) is not as fast as the ‘big’
dogs and so gives up the chase after half a lap. Third,
Jellyfish on the beach are ridiculous creatures. How the
hell can anything eat them? Fourth, with the tide coming
in why does the water go deliberately over me when I’m
only stood in it knee deep? Fifth……..what
the heck is wrong with that Springer?
of course is the issue of other ‘humans’ walking
‘their’ dogs on the beach…….”this
is our beach and we were here first”. (nur nur nee
nur nur) I will show aggression!!! Moments later –
“Oh how nice they are stroking me and giving me
“come on then, what’s this”? “come
Savanna – “now what’s
he want”? “has he food bits for me”
“doubt it” “and why’s he shouting,
I’m not deaf” “and I’m a Spinone
and sensitive to being shouted at” – WAIT?
“what’s that in his hand”? Wind speed
– check, wind direction – check, smell sense
on full alert. Munchies in the breeze….
“he wins” “I need that munchy…………stay
there and don’t move, don’t you dare give
that to one of ‘THEM’……”Brilliant”.
“Got it and a fuss as well…….this is
good….must do this again it’s most rewarding”.
worn out. Throwing sticks, plastic bottles, a tennis ball,
getting the pup to release its dead fish it’s just
brought to me with so much pride. And I’m wet through?
How come the Spins run back out of the water and proudly
run up next to you to shake rattle and roll? Why me? Those
dog coats take on a lot of water that is then dispensed
in a small but very effective storm all over you –
and when you move away – they come with you!!!
to go……….and so we walk off –
well I walk off and they follow. Sort of……..
get to the steps that lead off the beach and its stock
counting time. 1 ‘Viz’, 1 Springer, umpteen
Spinones - ranging in size. Done.
leads on dogs for them to drag me up the steps back to
the Land Rover. Now I love my Land Rovers………and
we need one with the dogs, especially today. You see a
beach predominantly consists of 2 things. sand and water.
at this point I’m going to cover 2 issues here.
Getting the dogs (some) into the Landy and
2. Sand and sea = another job for me – clean the
although the Landy is Karen’s!!!
note: I just buy it, Karen goes and picks it
up and from then on the Landy is, “Her Landy”
dearest, can I have the keys to YOUR Landy PLEASE”?
“it’s my Landy and why do you need it? “where
do you think you’re going” “what for”……”at
what speed do you intend to travel at” “how
long will it be gone” “will you get it dirty”
(it’s a Land Rover, they don’t do clean)
filling in the questionnaire, Karen (known as the Dearest
one, or something else, but that’s muttered) then
takes her time to mark it and then the following:
you’ve scored well” (I smile) “However”
(oh Poo) “when you’re out, I want it cleaned
inside and out and the tank filled” “further,
you are to bring back some chocolate for me and a packet
of crisps in the flavour of cheese and onion”
yes dearest one, of course”
are to travel at no more than the legal speed limit and
you must not stop and talk to people you know” –
“you know what you’re like, you’ll be
gone for hours”!!!! So the keys are handed over………jobs
done I return home. I got the wrong crisps, and the chocolate
bar had the wrong bits in it.
on a 3 day Land Rover ban.
the dogs into the Landy……….
may have seen the Landy in the Italy trip pictures. If
not go and read about it!!
the dogs (all of them) have only ever known the Land Rovers
as the vehicle of choice for their travel, in style and
comfort. Big dogs need big room and the Landy has plenty
of room (see the Italy trip)!!
no I’m not advertising Land Rovers. I am just biased!!
the ‘Viz’ the Springer, and a couple of the
Spins happily leap in. However, Mia being as she is, our
first Spinone and easily the most arrogant suddenly loses
all her energy and ‘just’ manages to put her
front feet up on the back, for one of us (me) to hoist
her in via lifting her back end. Not very dignified I
admit, but it works. The pup of course is carried in.
we shall see later on how that develops.
couple of the others have copied Mia, they are both perfectly
capable of course of jumping in…….but why
waste a human that can make life so much easier? (anyway
who was it that’s just spent hours running up and
down the beach)?
point of discharge (in this case home) or wherever we
are going, they of course ALL leap out and although they
don’t go anywhere (they wait for us to collect our
stuff and lock up) but it amuses me, sort of, that they
refuse to get in but have suddenly found the strength
and energy to leap out. Now I wonder why that is?
the way………have you noticed they know
where they are and whether it’s work, rest or play.
Ours know the beach and before we get there they are all
alert and switched on to fun mode. Show mode is different…….as
is going to someone else’s place. I t’s the
same when we get back home, they instinctively know where
they are and what’s going to come next. Usually
little while back Kallie was in season. And so was JJ!!!!!!!!
Karen - (The Dearest One, remember her)? said to me “Now
listen here, I’m going out in MY Landy and you’re
to look after the dogs”
– “Oh Yes dearest one”
– “Now Kallie is in season, so keep JJ away
from her” “if you let them out, keep one or
the other back”
– “Gulp” (oh oh, I don’t want
to be here, this is trouble – Thinks – nearest
available airport and flight)
– “oh yes dear, I will maintain a strict discipline
to keep them apart”
– “well it had better be better than the crisps
and chocolate I told you to get me when I leant you MY
Landy, you will be down Poo alley without the Scooper
if you don’t keep them apart”
– (Meek moment) “I understand dear and understand
the seriousness of your command”
them apart, huh, that should be easy!!
in season versus Dog who has raging hormone syndrome!!
I was young, did I go round walking funny with hip thrusting
movements at the sight of every nice girl? Well of course
I did……..no sorry. I didn’t, I was a
respectable young man. (with raging hormones but controlled
the hip movements) Just.
why can’t that damned dog?
is wrong with him?
howls - now and again
has tried charging the door down a couple of times and
has now taken to thrusting hip movements on everything
with or without legs, animal, mineral, vegetable –
Oh God!! I had better keep him away from the horse…….she’ll
kick him into the space station!! Beep…….”Houston,
we have a problem” “one of the female astronauts
reports a dog humping her leg” Beep…………”Roger
that” (No pun intended)
where was I – oh yes JJ and his amazing flexible
make sure you keep him well away from her…..OK”?
(ringing in my ears)
Kallie left behind I let the dogs out, and for a while
all is fine. Then in a moment of conducting a stock count
on the dogs out with me I find myself stood in the field
at the edge of the wood whistling and shouting across
the valley……..”JJ, come here”
have from an earlier whistle got ALL the other dogs with
me and each has had a treat…….a small biscuit
thing I carry in my pocket. Note: actually those little
dog bone biscuit thingy’s aren’t that bad
you know if you need a quick bite whilst you’re
out and about. High in minerals and vitamins they are
just the thing for that energy you need whilst mending
a broken fence!!! OK, OK, so I tried a couple………..don’t
even think it…….!!!!!
back to JJ……..my lungs ache and my throat
is sore from calling that lunatic back. I need a cup of
trundle back to the house with the pack in tow and to
my amazement find the hormonal one (JJ that is) sat outside
the door. Of course he must have come out with us, cocked
his leg and doubled back to see if I had left the door
open!! No way buddy…………….
now the problem? I have to let Kallie out and let the
others in!! this means that Kallie and scent will pass
the hormonal one…….oh oh!!
me thinks, hold the hormone and let Kallie go, keep hold
of the hormone, take him inside and stay out with Kallie
to give her a run.
1 – Execution 0
of you old enough to remember Benny Hill will then appreciate
the next bit to that memory…..and the music that
went with the action!!
JJ is a young and a VERY strong dog and he is much faster
in 4 wheel drive than this Biped is in 2 wheel drive!!!
Kallie runs out through the open door – she’s
fine. The Banker now has to hold on to a raging hormone
determined to flex his hips on the passing bitch in season.
At this point all JJs instincts are now purely focused
on hip movement…….not with me of course!!
But the one called Kallie……..
lose my grip and he’s off, not difficult to chase
because I only have to see where Kallie is!! There then
ensues yours truly AKA Benny Hill chasing JJ who’s
chasing Kallie who’s running away from him!!! And
call Kallie to me and she makes her move only to be cut
off by the Hormone…….I manage to divert his
attention by slipping over just behind him and for a second
he stops, but that is not enough. He’s off………I
am sure Kallie thinks it’s a game. Well to me it’s
a matter of life and death……”Keep her
away from him” - that sentence echoing in my brain
is like OB1 in Star Wars…remember that? “Use
the force Luke”…………
dearest one with light sabre and The Banker about to be
stops, I’m 20 metres away, JJ closes her down in
no time……..the tension mounts, JJ moves in
Oh God thank you…….Hallelujah (chorus)
just there stood wondering what’s going on, JJ sniffing
her and Benny Hill gasping for oxygen. I walk up and grab
JJ. This time my work is completed. I have him. And he
didn’t have her…..we go back to the house.
safely in one room and JJ in the other.
Banker (AKA Benny Hill) feet up on couch. Cup of Tea and
a biscuit (human type this time)
Oh the peacefulness……….and suddenly,
the door opens. It’s the Dearest one…”Everything
OK”? she asks “did you manage to keep them
apart as I commanded”?
yes Dear, no problem” “not as bad as I thought
it would be” I lied - Croaking through a sore throat……………
tried to get up off the couch but leg muscles were sore,
I hid this from the Dearest one. I had a bruise on my
thigh from when I slipped over and other than that, I
was fine!!!……….a good week overall I
thought, limping into the Kitchen.
where’s my flight tickets…………..